Copper nanoparticle-decorated nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheets for electrochemical determination of paraquat

Jie Zhou, Zongshan Zhao, Xue Zhao, Sam Toan, Lei Wang, Thomas Wågberg, Guangzhi Hu

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Abstract: A new strategy to prepare copper (Cu) nanoparticles anchored in nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheets (Cu@CN) has been designed and the nanomaterial applied to the determination of paraquat (PQ). The nanocomposite materials were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and several other techniques. We found that the Cu nanoparticles are uniformly distributed on the carbon materials, providing abundant active sites for electrochemical detection. The electrochemical behavior of the Cu@CN-based PQ sensor was investigated by square-wave voltammetry (SWV). Cu@CN exhibited excellent electrochemical activity and PQ detection performance. The Cu@CN-modified glassy carbon electrode (Cu@CN/GCE) exhibited excellent stability, favorable sensitivity, and high selectivity under optimized conditions (enrichment voltage −0.1 V and enrichment time 400 s) of the SWV test. The detection range reached 0.50 nM to 12.00 μM, and the limit of detection was 0.43 nM with high sensitivity of 18 μA·μM−1·cm−2. The detection limit is 9 times better than that of the high-performance liquid chromatography method. The Cu@CN electrochemical sensor demonstrated excellent sensitivity and selectivity also in environmental water and fruit samples enabling its use in practical, rapid trace-level detection of PQ in environmental samples. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number252
JournalMicrochimica Acta
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.


  • Copper nanoparticles
  • Food analysis
  • Nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheets
  • Paraquat
  • Square-wave voltammetry


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